Industry, let’s have a talk. You’ve made such incredible gains in technology and design lately. Every year your products get better, lighter, tougher, and more fun to play with. Except for your zippers! What gives? This year I’ve had zippers fail on more products I can think of. Jackets, backpacks, storage items – nothing is worse than having a zipper fail in the field. OK, well not NOTHING. But still, it’s pretty sucky.

Yes, most of you have a good warranty and will fix zippers at no cost. But come on! I don’t want to be without my precious gear for the six weeks it takes to send it in to you to get a new zipper. Every time I send an item back for repair, I am a little anxious about getting it back. I’ve always gotten it back, but still. Who knows if you’ll decide to just replace it with a different one I won’t like as much? The last thing any of us need is added stress in our lives, especially about things as petty as zippers.

And the thing is, I can tell immediately when zippers are likely to fail. They feel flimsy and weak, and zip all weird, and it’s easy to tell that a zipper is crap. I know if I can tell, you can tell – so why are you sending out garbage zippers? I know there are a lot of weight weenies out there. I bet they can suck it up to deal with a few extra grams of good zipper if needs be. A jacket that stuffs into a pocket doesn’t do much for me if the zipper that seals the pocket busts immediately. A backpack with a bad zipper – useless.

You can probably tell that I recently experienced a negative experience with a zipper. I was stuck in the field with a bag with a broken zipper. This is an issue when you’re traveling by helicopter and the rotor wash scatters all your stuff every single time the helicopter lands. It’s also an issue when it rains or snows and you want to keep your stuff dry. Face it – it’s just an issue.

So please, please, don’t send us crap zippers. We know that you know they’re crap. This zipper failure epidemic has really only started in the last year, so something is going on when reliable manufacturers suddenly are releasing products with shoddy zippers. QC, people, QC.